Saturday, March 12, 2016

Pray for Discernment for Those Trapped in Trump’s Angry Echo Chamber

Over the last several months, I’ve been very critical of Donald Trump’s supporters. It seemed that the majority of them were unable to describe what it was about his policies or principles that made them want to vote for him. Any questions I asked of them were answered with a combination of stump speech sound bites, nationalistic fervor, or poorly designed memes. That was a representation of the initial base, but things have changed. There are people who clearly have a brain but who are starting to follow Trump. It took a while, but I finally understand the appeal.

The key to understanding how Trump supporters think is to realize that they’re not truly thinking. That’s NOT an insult of their intelligence. We all get that way from time to time. We latch onto an idea so tightly that we start protecting it from every attack angle. Even if the attacks are righteous, we cling so hard that we won’t allow it to breath, to truly roam the intellectual pastures in the critical thinking areas of our minds.

Trump hasn’t just tapped into that portion through his Saul Alinsky methodologies for campaigning. He’s done so through exceptionally well-calculated manipulations of both the media and his opponents to generate an echo chamber of anger. This insulates them. It immerses them in his rhetoric in a way that prevents them from thinking for themselves about the issues important to them. Again, this sounds like an insult to their intelligence but I must reiterate that it has nothing to do with whether or not they’re smart, patriotic, or versed on the issues. Again, some of the smartest, most conservative people I know are trapped and it’s been very challenging to get some of them to see the truth.

By understanding this, we can learn two very discouraging things. First, it means that standard arguments will have zero effect. For example, it’s difficult to take a staunch conservative and convince them that Trump is liberal because the rhetoric they’re focused on within the echo chamber is immigration, bringing back jobs, and stopping radical Islamic terrorism. Under normal circumstances, this staunch conservative wouldn’t stand for a candidate that wanted to increase the size of government more than even President Obama has been able to do, nor would they accept that tariff-based “fair” trade could do anything other than raise prices for purchased goods without the potential for bringing more manufacturing jobs back to America, nor would they want a tax and spend plan that will raise the national debt by $9.4 trillion IF he’s able to grow the economy as hoped.

The second and arguably more discouraging thing we now know is that their passion is contagious. They are so addicted to the noise in the echo chamber that they can draw their friends and relatives into it. The good news is that the majority of Americans will hear the cacophony once they enter and realize that it’s a combination of nonsense and propaganda, but not everyone. Those who believe that Trump’s support has reached its cap are like Luke Skywalker who had to be constantly reminded that he doesn’t “know the power of the dark side.”

This is the biggest reason why there is no time to wait for John Kasich and Marco Rubio to decide that their campaigns have run their course. Now, today, immediately, those who do not want Donald Trump to be the GOP nominee MUST accept that Ted Cruz is the only viable alternative. Every vote for Kasich and Rubio (outside of their home states) is a vote for Trump. EVERY vote.

Only God can Change Their Hearts

I realize that not everyone who reads these articles is a Christian, but I’m asking you pray regardless of your perspectives on religion. The time has past for education or campaigning to Trump’s supporters. They’re locked in hard and reasoning with them is futile. Trump is the man they want him to be regardless of who he actually is because they’ve already chosen to exist intellectually within his echo chamber. If we could sit down with them one by one and show them the facts, there’s a chance that some could be freed from their Pied Piper’s call, but at this point there’s simply not enough time.

Pray for them. Pray for discernment. Pray for them to be released from the lies that are holding them captive. Pray humbly and with the meekness of a servant for those that you know to see the light. Pray that they’ll hear some bit of truth that breaks them free. Pray that they’ll see the reality of Trump’s campaign and the existential destruction of America that he represents. Pray that they will be granted discernment.

This isn’t just about keeping him from winning the nomination. In reality, if Kasich and Rubio drop out on Wednesday, it’s likely that Cruz will accumulate more delegates by the time the convention rolls around. This is about keeping the party together and not allowing Trump to destroy it from within. The more Trump supporters that we can reach now, the easier it will be for Cruz to defeat the Democrats in November.

via Soshable

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